7 Must-Have Web Apps for Music Enthusiasts
The battle that was kicked off when Shawn Fanning launched the first peer-to-peer based music sharing service, the now ill-fated Napster, is by no means over. Music on the internet is alive and well, though most services now will allow you stream music live without downloading it (and thus incurring the wrath of dozens of record company conglomerates). Listed below are the best music streaming sites—some tried-and-true, some up-and-coming.
- Pandora. Pandora is the oldest player in the internet radio biz, and they aren’t changing the business model. On the other hand, there are tons o’ ways to use this old horse in new ways, including mobile platforms for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, and more.
- last.fm. Last.fm is a great way to explore new artists based on what you like already—the web app even features a small “scrobble” app that tracks your music listening habits and recommends bands you might enjoy. Think of it as radio for the computer, with programmable features and way more say in what you listen to than you’d ever get with a real radio station.
- Grooveshark. No registration, no credit card needed, not even an obnoxious request for your email to send you lots of spam. Just type the web address into your browser and you’re in. Also, Grooveshark is unique among music sites in that you can upload music to their servers (which is then available to other users) for your personal library, and once you add a song to your playlist it is visible along the bottom of the screen—simple and easy to understand.
- Rhapsody. In contrast to the sites above, Rhapsody is a “library in the cloud” service, meaning you can order any song (out of a selection of 12 million, they say) and have it played instantly. Of course, you already knew—that kind of instant gratification comes at a price, but it’s reasonable: around $15 a month to have access to unlimited, on-demand streaming to any of your music players or mobile devices.
- Spotify. Spotify has just launched their US-based service, although they’ve been successful in Europe for a while now. Their angle on music streaming seems to be focused on being able to share your choices with friends via Facebook, and the basic service is available for free after you create a username and password.
- The Hype Machine. Comprised entirely of tracks cited by Twitter users, Hype Machine is a great way to get to know some of the best music blogs. You can listen to the tracks directly, favorite them, or sign in and customize what you listen to.
- Blip.fm. Blip is sort of a cross between a social media service and a music sharing site. Use it to broadcast your favorite tracks to users and fellow friends on Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media sites; or listen to their choices on the livestream player.
David Turner most commonly posts blogs about different courses and requirements necessary to complete an online degree music.